ARIZONA (Rooters agency) – When Bernardo Littlehope and Madeline Velasco separately witnessed a severe traffic accident a little over a month ago, both responded without a thought for his/her own welfare.
Velasco pulled open the door of the damaged vehicle, which had already begun to burn, and dragged the driver to safety.
Littlehope meanwhile tended to the unconscious passenger, who had been thrown from the car, performing CPR that doctors later said had saved the injured man’s life.
When interviewed by reporters the next day, each of the rescuers acknowledged having understood that their action could result in their being charged under federal laws. However, they felt that their humanitarian behavior was justified, especially since both accident victims have only in the last few days recovered sufficiently to speak coherently.
When the two faced trial in federal court yesterday on charges of entering a public street, not within a pedestrian crossing and without a permit, the prosecutor had no difficulty in establishing that the two had in fact entered the roadway. Also, he presented photographic evidence that a water bottle, from which Velasco had provided a drink for the injured driver, was left behind in the road – a further offense.
The judge had actually begun pronouncing the guilty verdicts when he was interrupted by the prosecutor, who apologized profusely “for bringing to your attention previously unknown information.”
“Your Honor,” the prosecutor explained, “when we brought these charges, we believed that both of the accident victims were undocumented migrants or would-be refugees. However, only days ago, both have recovered sufficiently to provide proof that they are in fact American citizens.”
“Thank you,” said the judge, “for bringing to my attention this significant new evidence. Not guilty. Case dismissed.”